Kavalan, Taiwan's premier whisky, won five Platinum awards and 13 Golds at the 2017 International Review of Spirits (IRS). The Solist Port Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky was named the 2017 best whisky in its class with the highest category score of 98.
Kavalan CEO Mr YT Lee said judges had found the Port to be "an exemplary study" in cask selection with "superb depth, complexity, length and soul."
"Recognition of the quality we've worked hard to achieve means a lot when you think 10 years ago nobody would believe it was possible to make world-class whisky in Taiwan," said Lee.
Judges described the Port as 'Candied, Fruity, Complex, Rich & Smoky' and the aroma as 'dried fruit melange, chocolate grenache, ripe black cherries, and salted peanuts' with the taste flavour as 'charred sweet corn, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, rose jam, winter orange peel, and anise.'
All Kavalans are Single Malts. Four of the five Platinum award winners are also Single Cask Strength as follows with their scores appearing first:
98 – Kavalan Solist Port
97 – Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon
96 – Kavalan Solist Sherry
96 – Kavalan Solist Amontillado Sherry
The final Platinum was awarded to the Kavalan Distillery Reserve Peaty Cask with a score of 97.
Kavalan single malts are judged by the IRS to be "amazingly flavourful, complex, world-class spirits… that are a product of ingenuity … and the unique tropical Taiwanese climate that accelerates the aging process." Kavalan's success is indebted to the late Dr Jim Swan, who acted as Kavalan's technical expert since its conception in the early 2000s to February this year